New Jersey Devil

I liked this one. Carny is a monster movie in the Maneater Series by SYFY channel. As with all SYFY movies it is a “B” horror movie. The creature is part of a carnival side show and is billed as the New Jersey Devil.

The Jersey Devil is actually part of New Jersey folklore that has been around for over 300 years. The Devil lives in the pine barrens of New Jersey. It is reported that a woman called Mother Leeds who had 12 children and whose husband was a drunkard was again pregnant with her 13th child. She cursed the child. When she gave birth a few months later she gave birth to a normal boy. A few minutes later the baby changed morphing before everyone’s eyes into a hideous creature. It grew at an incredible rate, sprouted bat type wings, horns, fangs, talon-like claws and glowing red eyes. The creature then attacked and killed its mother as well as many of the people in the house. It then flew up the chimney and disappeared into the barrens. Few were left to tell the tale.

Whether or not the creature in the carnival is the real Jersey Devil or not is immaterial. The creature has immense strength and during a performance breaks free and escapes his chains. The creature kills the son of the local preacher and anyone else it runs across. The preacher is basically sent over the edge into insanity seeking revenge. The carnival owner, who is greedy and self centered, goes over his own edge doing unspeakable things to try to get back his star attraction. The town sheriff, played by Lou Diamond Phillips has the impossible task of trying to stop not only the Devil but the pastor and the carnival owner as well.

This is darker than some of the other SYFY movies. It appears that everyone is tainted by the curse in some way. The sheriff appears to be the only one who is sane. If you like horror in your movies and characters that deserve to be killed in gross and bloody ways this is the movie for you. Don’t worry about the acting or the dialogue or the CGI or any of the other background things that most people analyze in low budget movies. Pay attention to the mood. The carnival of lost souls. The greed of the circus owner. The anguish of the pastor. The stead fast determination of the sheriff. Do that and you will get more out of this movie than just a “monster movie”.